In another attempt to harmonise the various Universal Charger Standards out there, including the one’s I worked on, GeSI have offered to try and broker a new deal to get them aligned, I hope it works as I tried very hard in our previous discussions but Rocks and Immovable Objects spring to mind ….
Check out the PR here
This blog was created mainly to cover the conferences I attended as part of my role at the time, I’ve moved on to other things since then and so have not posted, however I went to Mobile World Congress for the first time in many years where I had the pleasure to work with David Goodstein of GSMA promoting Universal Charger, here is a post from David summarising the week better than I could:
I’m just back from Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, working through emails, business cards and expenses receipts.
That was my forth MWC and definitely the most exciting, principally down to my favourite project….. Universal Charging Solution.
UCS featured at GSMA Pavilion along with other GSMA initiatives. We didn’t have any super fancy give-away’s like NFC project (handsets), Mobile Broadband project (modems) and RCS/OneAPI (USB disks) but the UCS animation was visually appealing and we gave away some 1500 postcards, mostly donated in handfuls to UCS partners (Telefonica, Orange, NTT DoCoMo, Orascom, Motorola, Sony Ericsson etc.). The postcards are an example of a low cost consumer awareness initiative that could be available in retail outlets in the very near future.
Motorola and Sony Ericsson had UCS devices at MWC. They kindly donated some samples which I was able to demonstrate, along with the ST Microelectronics sample we already had.
Sony Ericsson GreenHeart EP800 (EU version)
These were super useful in my further recruitment efforts. I spoke to more operators and vendors with a view to getting additional support for this popular initiative . When you put a charger with detachable cable and micro-USB connector in front of someone, they instantly get it. There seems to be universal acceptance/expectation that micro-USB is the ubiquitous connector for the foreseeable future. Sagem, Samsung, Modu, INQ and non-mobile vendors such as Garmin and Sensaris acknowledged their commitment to Micro-USB.
Powermat had a big display. Maybe it’s down to the fact that they were opposite GSMA pavilion and their characteristic "beedle-beep" attach/detach signature is now hard wired into my brain…. but I just had to go and visit. They seem to think that the time for wireless charging has come and invested a lot in their presence at MWC. Qualcomm also demonstrated wireless charging. I have nothing to say good or bad about the efficiency, sustainability or usability of these solutions. But I will say that Powermat seem to have thought through transition from wired to wireless by producing a wide range of tips (connection adapters). So do Energizer who were kind enough to give me one of their products for which I was very grateful and I’ve used twice since. The box contained 6 tips. I will use 4 (lots of legacy receptacles in my household) and dispose of 2 (in a responsible fashion). Powermat and Energizer are more pleased than anyone to see harmonisation of connectors.
Powerkiss was a particularly interesting prototype on display. It addresses donor charging by providing a plug-in dongle that enables wireless charging from a table. Imagine this in Starbucks / Libraries / corporate meetings. Of course questions about intermediate technology, interoperability and sustainability arise. But for me, the interesting thing is the implied range of transitionary and future charging scenarios.
The bottom line is … UCS features such as common connector, detachable cable and decent (>850mA) output will facilitate a significant other ecosystem, in the same way that Apple connector already does.
Novoro "TheTravelOne" is an after market 1.0A charger with interchangeable socket pins (for wall) and a USB Std-A output port for versatility. They have chosen to supply only Std-A to Micro-USB cables with this product and do not make "tips" or other cable types. In fact, their entire product range (Bluetooth car and head sets) is micro-USB.
Ian Hay, Orange surpassed himself and GSMA PR staff by blagging his way into the V.I.P. suite to present Mr. Stephen Fry with a UCS charger.
Mr Fry self is a self confessed smart phone / twitter / social network addict. While presenting GSMA Awards, Mr Fry admitted to owning 18 smart phones and consequently his "bedroom is a mess". As Mr Fry exited stage, Mr Hay exited the arena like Roadrunner!
By all accounts (Ian’s account) Mr Fry gratefully received the charger and has since emailed his appreciation and thanks. We hope that this might lead to some UCS related tweets from Mr Fry and who knows where that will lead. We have reserved a UCS charger for Neelie Kroes, new EU commissioner for Digital Agenda. I hope Sony Ericsson and Motorola will continue to provide additional samples so that we can continue these PR efforts
I’ve been reading a few posts about this amazing feat recently, plus also keeping an eye on Google Voice since it came out as GrandCentral, I work for a Telco and have done almost my entire professional life, I don’t always agree with what they do or what they provide, but then show me someone that does!
I follow with fascination the ways and lengths to which people will go to avoid paying for the service of being able to communicate with someone else who is not within earshot.
Myabe one day bit for now I still have to find a mobile with large enough keys for my parents that just works, Google Voice or Windows Live on the PC is as far as it goes too, snowballs and hell come to mind when thinking of this sort of setup, even my notoriously ‘Scottish’ Dad would rather pay a few € cents than go through this setup.
Anyhow, each to their own, I guess when these services force the cost of communication to free someone will pickup the running and upkeep of the infrastructure to carry all this free traffic
Google Voice just added SIP connectivity through Gizmo5 which basically enables FREE inbound and outbound calling! With the Gizmo5-to-Google Voice connectivity not only can you can connect any SIP device (softphone, IP phone), but you can even use regular telephones for free calls in the entire United States. Google Voice already offers DID numbers in nearly every area code, which means businesses, especially SMBs can take advantage of this without resorting to some obscure out-of-state area code.
As you already know, Google Voice already gives you FREE outbound calling in the U.S., but the missing piece of the puzzle is free INBOUND calling. Well, Gizmo5′s beta service called Gizmo Voice is the final piece to the puzzle. Gizmo Voice lets you take full advantage of the messaging and calling services of Google Voice combined with Gizmo5′s support for any SIP device. Thus, in addition to the free inbound and outbound calling, you also can take advantage of Google Voice’s free voicemail and free voicemail transcription.
With Google Voice + Gizmo Voice you can make and receive U.S. calls without any monthly or per minute fees. This is a game changer! SIP termination providers surely aren’t going to be happy about this deal. How can they compete with free?
Google Voice + Gizmo5 = Free Inbound & Outbound Calls
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 17:33:43 GMT
Rather than email this, since I just read a post on GigaOM about how we still use it too much, I looked at options in FeedDemon and see that it integrates with Live Writer so here we are..
This interests me due to the fact that there is, necessarily so, a desire to look at what the ‘best’ way to carry traffic is..
Vubiq’s Waveguide Radio Module
Vubiq, a startup based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., is offering a chip that has the potential to change the economics for companies trying to ship huge amounts of data over relatively short distances — notably cell providers trying to build backhaul for their wireless networks or companies trying to provide point-to-point bandwidth between buildings on a campus. Six-year-old Vubiq earlier this month announced a radio that vendors can attach to their own antennas to deliver wireless signals for roughly a mile in the relatively uncluttered 60 GHz spectrum band. With it, companies that want to use 60 GHz for long-range wireless could see their chip costs slashed as much as 90 percent.
Vubiq’s waveguide radio modules (the radio sans antenna) is one of several chips tuned to take advantage of the 60 GHz spectrum for delivering high-speed data wirelessly. Unlike other unlicensed bands, such as those used by Wi-Fi radios, baby monitors and cordless phones, 60 GHz is pretty empty because to date, it’s been expensive to make chips that can tune into that frequency. That’s starting to change as companies build their 60 GHz radios using silicon.
The most publicized efforts are coming from the WiGigAlliance and startups like SiBeam that want to use the spectrum to wirelessly transmit HD video and other data around the home. These companies hope to find ways to make short-range radios that can use that spectrum to deliver point-to-point signals within a room. However, those chips are still a few years away, as right now the companies working through the alliance focus on making sure 60 GHz radios will be compatible with Wi-Fi, says Mike Hurlston, director of Broadcom’s WLAN efforts.
While Vubiq makes a chip with an antenna for the consumer device world as well, CEO Adam Button believes there’s a large opportunity in the long-range wireless market, which is why his company built the new chip that customers can buy and outfit with their own antenna. This allows them to customize the chips to deliver long-range wireless signals in the 60 GHz band. Most industrial 60 GHz chips are made from exotic materials that require an expensive manufacturing process. Because it makes its chips using silicon, Vubiq can take advantage of cheaper manufacturing costs and deliver processors that are 10 percent of the cost of those offered by other long-range 60 GHz companies. Button declined to give exact pricing.
Button says this means customers can use Vubiq’s chips to provide wireless backhaul in the millimeter wave in addition to the microwave bands — an imperative as wireless companies move to higher bandwidth technologies, such as Long Term Evolution. Using wireless may be cheaper than laying fiber to the cell towers in most cases. It also may represent hope for the troubled companies that provide point-to-point wireless signals to corporate campuses. Companies like Terabeam or BridgeWave are likely customers of the Vubiq waveguides, judging by an interview with BridgeWave CEO Amir Makleff in Forbes, when Makleff bemoaned the high cost of non-silicon waveguides. As the world goes mobile, businesses like Vubiq that can help a company take advantage of cheap, unlicensed spectrum with lower-cost chips could change the economics of providing wireless broadband. And that means more mobile broadband for everyone.
This article also appeared on BusinessWeek.com.
The future of mobile: GigaOM Pro provides insider perspectives and analysis on the trends defining tomorrow’s mobile market. Learn more »
Forget Microwaves: Startup Vubiq Banks on Millimeter Waves
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 04:00:01 GMT
I recently suffered another disk failure in my Macbook, was happily working away, spinning ball for a few minutes, tried force quit, nothing, tried any keys, nothing, took power out, waited, plugged back in, waited, waited, waited, then the dreaded “?” or QMOD – a few choice phrases went through my mind and then one very load one came out of my mouth, then i realised my office widow was open so had to look outside to make sure no-one in the street was offended.
I took the disk out, tried again, checked it in an external caddy where i could here it making odd clicking sounds, definitely dead, the odd thing was that my Macbook has been sat on my desk for nearly a year, it just doesn’t move anymore!
I immediately checked with Seagate and it was still under warranty so packed it up in the packaging my last exchanged drive was sent in and off it went.
like i said in the beginning this was ‘another’ disc failure, last time i lost pretty much everything and since then backup up religiously using Time Machine, first to my NAS and then switched to a local external hard drive, so this time I should be fine right? – WRONG, in what can only be SODS LAW i ‘borrowed’ the external drive for something else the day before – the day before – and so had no backup, a seriously bad move, I still haven’t fully appreciated how much I’ve lost again, certainly all the mail for 2009 so far, god knows what else !
What I do know is that Mozy has saved my life in terms of those small but very valuable files, one issue is that they are backed up from Mac so when I restore them I get offered a DMG file which is no good on my Windows 7 machine
When i get it back the external drive is going back in and NEVER getting borrowed again ….
I’ve been using it since release more or less as I’ve always liked LBS and sharing but it’s kind of odd that everytime I go to iGoogle the gadget is broken and apparently not available in my location…
However if I search for Latitude and click on the link I get it working, URL and example below, how odd….
Works perfectly on my N95 though
Need to get Orange Business Everywhere running on a Windows 7 installation ? Well I didn’t absolutely have to but given that I’m liking of Win7 I thought I would give it a try but as it’s not officially supported I wasn’t sure if it would work out, to my surprise it was relatively easy but is not as streamlined as it could be since it needs an extra click or two which I could do without to be honest.
I downloaded the latest version directly from the Business live site here and choose options for your ‘ahem’ Option modem and ran it using the ‘Troubleshoot Compatibility’ menu option (right click)
Then click next to run the check and wait while it determines what’s required
after 30 seconds or so you get some options asking what you would like to do, I hadn’t done anything with this yet so choose ‘The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now’ and hit next
I decided to play safe as wasn’t sure of Vista support (apologies to OBS if it works perfectly in Vista but I had no opportunity to check and didn’t want a failed install, system restore etc) so I choose Windows XP as I know it worked there
Finally you get a dialog confirming the options selected and the chance to run the program to test, I did this and it installed with no errors
After installation I had an icon on the desktop with the security shield, in order to run it I right click and run as administrator et Voila!
I still have a few issues with the look and feel of the software, don’t appear to be able to TAB between fields but as this only affects setup it’s not a big deal and once it’s setup it runs very well indeed, I’m writing this while flying along in the Eurostar and a rock steady connection.
Caveat: This is just how I got it working, there may well be other ways but this is my way and I’m not mucking about with it now that it runs fine
Feel free to add comments on how to improve if you like of course
footnote : while I wrote the piece above i had a steady connection, once i tried sending though I couldn’t keep a steady connection long enough to complete it!
This is the same in Vista but I’ve never used that other than to fix my parents-in-law’s computer but now that I’m using it constantly in it’s much nicer form I’m finding my app launching habits from the Mac are easily done on Windows.
Now let’s be clear this is only the app launching bit and none of the clever stuff that Quicksilver does but if I want a certain app, rather than clicking around All programs trying to find it, hit Windows Key, start typing and there it is, just like in Quicksilver but without any of the learning that happens there, still it’s better than mousing around
I like keyboard shortcuts a LOT; due to bad RSI that gets away from me very easy if I’m not careful; and so it’s important to me to reduce mouse work as much as possible, on my Mac at home i use Quicksilver extensively and can do most anything without a mouse which is cool, way cool. However I also have to use a work provided laptop which has a locked down build on it so I have invested some time in trying to reduce the pain there too, this post is about my experiences with the browsers I’ve used recently.
I’ve been using Chrome for a while and got quite used to it, preferable by a long way from the version of Internet Explorer I’m stuck with on the work laptop I have; the current build has IE6 on it, no tabbed browsing which is a huge pain when you are used to having it, however my biggest gripe is one of my most frequently used shortcut keys which is CTRL-l which puts me in the address bar and highlights all the text so I can type over, especially useful with the auto-search bar in Chrome, once you’ve used it for a while you don’t need bookmarks really as it is intuitive and even replaces the search box, which I still tend to use out of habit only really.
In IE6 (and I’ve since learned even in IE8) pressing CTRL-l brings up a dialog box asking to open a Location; now you can type a URL in and it works kind of but not as good as Chrome and having a dialog box come up is off-putting, to me at least. edit: I just recalled why it’s no good, you can’t hit CTRL-l and highlight a URL to copy it ! Something I do using a keystroke on my Mac
The other one is CTRL-E to get to the search box, now this does work well in IE and so this is basically how I get around the web on a windows machine, it works well in IE once the default search engine is set, on Firefox and Chrome it’s CTRL-K and now in Safari it’s CTRL-ALT-F which is getting to be a pain, perhaps I can change it but I’ve not looked in to that as yet as it’s not something I do on my work windows machine.
I also can’t find a shortcut on Safari to get to the Top Sites page which does provide a hybrid page that allows for less clicking, unless of course you are on a connection where authentication is required and then all your icons auto-update to show the same login page, then if you can’t recall which is which you have to mouse over each one to see the URL !!
I’m liking the speed of Safari which is probably the best, however IE8 is very, very close on the particular laptop I’ve tried it on but in the end I may go back to Chrome, my main issue is switching between Mac and a poor windows installation I guess but either Chrome or the new Safari seem better to use, with Safari having more awkward keyboard shortcuts ….